Maybe The Sky Really Isn’t Falling

sanders-christian-science-breakfast

There has been a lot of panic that the election of Donald Trump means the end of the United States. In reality, nobody really knows what will happen with Trump having taken multiple views on issues over the years–and often would promoting contradictory goals in the same speech. Obviously we need to be wary of what Trump might do, as would also be the case if Clinton was elected, but suddenly Democrats are becoming open to the possibility of finding common ground. Bernie Sanders said he is willing to work with Trump if he really is interested in limiting corporate power: “If Mr. Trump has the guts to stand up to those corporations he will have an ally with me.”

Sanders, speaking with reporters at a Christian Science Monitor sponsored breakfast, said he is ready to embrace Trump on a handful of campaign promises. Those include protecting Social Security and Medicare, negotiating for lower drug prices, raising the minimum wage to $10, imposing tariffs on companies that ship jobs overseas, and re-regulating Wall Street by re-establishing Glass-Steagall…

By embracing Trump’s left-leaning stands, Sanders is hoping to make progress on issues of long-standing concern to the Vermont senator. If Trump backs away from these promises and sides with the conventional conservatives who lead the Republican Party in Congress, Sanders believes that Trump will be exposed as a “fraud.”

Sanders also called on Trump to fire Steve Bannon, and says he will fight Trump “tooth and nail” on climate change.

Congressional Democrats also see the possibility of working with Trump. The New York Times reports:

Congressional Democrats, divided and struggling for a path from the electoral wilderness, are constructing an agenda to align with many proposals of President-elect Donald J. Trump that put him at odds with his own party.

On infrastructure spending, child tax credits, paid maternity leave and dismantling trade agreements, Democrats are looking for ways they can work with Mr. Trump and force Republican leaders to choose between their new president and their small-government, free-market principles. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, elected Wednesday as the new Democratic minority leader, has spoken with Mr. Trump several times, and Democrats in coming weeks plan to announce populist economic and ethics initiatives they think Mr. Trump might like.

There is a considerable risk that such attempts to work with Trump on these issues will fail, but it is worth the effort.  Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama failed to get very much accomplished in their second terms due to partisan gridlock. Trump does not appear to be ideological, and might be open to working with Democrats to achieve bipartisan support for efforts he has expressed support for in the past. Trump’s proposals for infrastructure spending sound quite a bit like Barack Obama’s stimulus plans. While such plans could not get through a Republican Senate in recent years, it is possible that a similar plan from Trump could pass with bipartisan support.

The alternative very will could be more gridlock. There has been concern that the Republicans might eliminate the filibusterer so that they could pass legislation with a simple majority. Some Republicans, with a long memory of the years they were in the minority, such as Orin Hatch and Lindsey Graham, oppose a change to the filibuster. This still leaves the possibility of the Republicans pushing through partisan legislation through budget reconciliation, but reduces the harm that a Republican Congress with a Republican president could accomplish if the Democrats can block legislation which does not have at least sixty votes.

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5 Comments

  1. 1
    stellab says:

    I don't know if the sky is or isn't falling, but I'm extremely troubled by the prospect of the incoming administration.

    Balloon Juice blog has a post featuring the list by Joshua Foust – have you seen it?

     

    foust list

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    No question that there are many reasons to be troubled by the incoming administration, even if possibly not a sign of the end of civilization. Foust’s list gives many good reasons to be troubled, even if some are a stretch. The problem is that this is more a sign of the problems with the government in general, and not purely a reflection on Trump. While the specifics would be different, a comparable list of unethical behavior and awful decisions could also be compiled about Clinton. We won’t be able to do anything about this until we demand higher standards from politicians regardless of party, as opposed to only protesting bad behavior from the other party.

  3. 3
    stellab says:

    Hi there Ron –

    Thanks so much for reading and replying.  Before I reply further, I'll just say I was reading on commondreams.org about some of his appointments – Flynn and Pompeo (sp?).  Very troubling.

    I do agree with your point:  "We won’t be able to do anything about this until we demand higher standards from politicians regardless of party, as opposed to only protesting bad behavior from the other party."  That's certainly part of the problem.  I'm certainly a Dem, but yes, both parties are far too corrupt now.

    I would also add a few things.  We need to somehow get folks to think more critically and make better decisions not relying so much on soundbites.  We need the media to do a better job of informing.  The msm outlets especially don't really ask tough questions of candidates. We need to work toward ending the undo influence of corporate money and lobbyists.  And of course, we MUST, MUST get people to reject hatred and bigotry.  That's a long-term job and I thought we'd be further along now than we are.  But we absolutely must bring more people around to having good will toward each other.  I was encouraged by the facts that there is a spectrum of folks opposed to this so-and-so, and that young folks in particular are attuned to rejecting such rhetoric.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Don’t leave out Jeff Sessions if listing troubling appointments released today. And of course Steve Bannon if looking at all his appointments to date. They are probably the worst two so far.

  5. 5
    stellab says:

    Yes, Ron, I saw Sessions was a definite designee right after writing that.  Bannon I'd seen about.

    I'm just shaking my head.

    Take care!

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